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This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thu 3
Poor Char's already has the blues, and the Bad News just keeps on a-comin'. The Bad News Blues Band maintains its weekly gig at "The House That Blues Built" on Thursday, June 3. The Tucson band claims to be "internationally acclaimed," and recent developments indicate that it just might be true: Mike "Johnny Guitar" Blommer and Alex "The Reverend Vegas" Flores (he plays a mean saxamophone) were inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame last fall, and drummer Chip Ritter rocked Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks last month. Nobody beats Ritter's dizzying drum solo -- he juggles sticks with Animal enthusiasm (he of "Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem" fame). Ritter alone is worth the cost of admission -- which, considering Char's measly $2 cover, isn't saying much. What we're trying to say: The Bad News is all good. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at 4631 North Seventh Avenue. Call 602-230-0205 or see

Fri 4
Painting the town infrared, the Cone Gallery flips on its "All Black Light Art Show" -- and concurrent Bohemian Festival 2004 -- on First Friday, June 4. Celebrating the grand opening of Cone's La Bohemian Lounge ("Phoenix's Local Artists' Fine Art Clearinghouse"), the fest doesn't fade out 'til midnight Monday, June 7. "It's our first attempt at starting what we hope will eventually expand into a festival on Grand Avenue, extending from Roosevelt to Van Buren," says Kathy Cone, owner of the gallery, which opened in March at 1324 Grand Avenue. On Friday, Transformer X (a Ralph Brekan production) and "Noise Artist" Kyle Showers provide a psychedelic soundtrack for the exhibition, which shines light on works by glow-in-the-dark artist Luis Gutienez and '60s-era artworks from a private collection. Festivities start at 6 p.m.; an after-hours party follows from 10 p.m. 'til 2 a.m. The art appreciation continues with Saturday-night performances by "fine art ambient, jam, noise and experimental musicians" and a second after-hours party. BoFest 2004 winds down Sunday evening with poetry, dance and performance art. Call 602-258-3455 or see

Sat 5
Considering where they've taken the bikini wax, we fear that the Brazilian version of jiu-jitsu is far more painful than necessary. Nevertheless, we're willing to let it rip -- in the name of cultural understanding -- at the Arizona Desert Quest #8 Grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship this Saturday, June 5. Teams and individual competitors are welcome to participate; weight classes for gi and no-gi competitors range from 135 pounds to 214-plus. Ladies can get in on the action as well, in open gi and no-gi divisions. Individual registration is $30 for one division, $50 for both. Team members pay $25 and $40, kids -- matched by weight, not age -- pay $20, and spectators cough up $5. Weigh-ins run from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; throw-downs start at noon at Westwood High, 945 West Eighth Street in Mesa. Call 480-446-8127 for more information.

Sun 6
Putting the "lit" in kiddy lit, Thomas skids to the wrong side of the tracks in Thomas the Tanked Engine, a short film set to roll at No Festival Required, Part 18, this Sunday, June 6, at Modified Arts. Celebrating its second anniversary, the series of "thoughtful and provocative shorts by local and national directors" includes works by ASU intermedia students Tony Ash, Marianna Katsapaos, Kimberly Pope and Chris Todd, and Glendale Community College and ASU instructor Steve Gompf. Subjects include "the worst thing ever" (we have to sit through Gigli?), a man's obsession with hands, and a hypnotic prayer. Seeing as how the show warrants a disclaimer, it's gotta be good. "Due to the extreme nature of some of these works, including graphic nudity, sexual situations and gross humor, it is advised that this show is for mature audiences only," advises NFR co-conspirator Steve Weiss, "and there will be no refunds." Consider your bad selves warned. The poor taste -- and the good times -- roll at 7 p.m. at 407 East Roosevelt. Admission is $5. Call 602-265-9524 or visit for info on submitting films for future shows.

Mon 7
Now that the weather's sizzling, hit the hot links at Estrella Mountain Ranch Golf Club, 11800 South Golf Club Drive in Goodyear, where, thanks to low seasonal rates, even we slummers can join the club. From Monday, June 7, through September 9, golfers score 18 holes -- plus practice balls, GPS, bag tag, divot tool and a bottle of H2O -- for $35 Mondays through Thursdays, $45 Fridays through Sundays. And these greens are worthy of your green: The Valley's first daily-fee Nicklaus-designed course, EMRGC recently merited mention in GolfWeek magazine's "Top 100 Golf Course Communities" in the U.S. Call 623-386-2600 or visit to schedule a tee time.

Tue 8
Hollywood Alley is going Hollywood -- and, since they're $1 off, you oughta be in pitchers -- this Tuesday, June 8, for its new Movie & Party Night. Every Tuesday in June, patrons pick the flicks that hit the 7-by-14-foot screen -- with "5,000 watts of pure audio power." The Hollywood honchos treat bar flies to free popcorn, happy hour drink specials, $2 nachos and $1 tacos, but, sticking it to the solitary man, extend free admission only to parties of two or more. Showtime is around 8:30 p.m. at 2610 West Baseline in Mesa. Call 480-820-7117 or see

Wed 9
Ain't nothin' like the Rio thing, baby. Revel in "tropical Afro-Brazilian" rhythms this Wednesday, June 9, when Briza Brazil spices up Mesa's Summer Spotlite Series. The band sends up the country's sexy sounds -- samba and bossa nova, por exemplo -- on Brazilian instruments such as the berimbau and guica. The one-hour concert takes the stage at two Mesa venues: 10:30 a.m. at the Dobson Ranch Branch Library, 2425 South Dobson, and 1:30 p.m. at the Jefferson Gym, 120 South Jefferson. Admission is free. Call 480-644-2242 for details.


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